Samuel van Hoogstraten: View of an Interior, or The Slippers (Between 1654 and 1662)
"I clutch my innate cowardliness along with my pearls and move into."

I consider myself to be a change chicken, especially whenever encountering some inevitable. I could offer a master class in the fine art of denial. My feet naturally drag, providing a superpower resistance few very deeply appreciate. I can defend any late status quo state until long after any foreign element's completely overtaken it. I sometimes seem to be living in the past, still taking my cues from some long ago code of comportment. I live conservatively—not politically conservatively, for that philosophy always seemed far too radical for me—but intellectually conservatively, and also culturally. I rightfully consider most improvements to be degradations and most new beginnings to be primarily shrouded in endings. My glass is neither half empty nor half full, but still overflowing with potential. I'm the one most likely to order another one just like the one before.

I have been inhabiting the NowHere for an entire quarter now, or almost.
I began by noting the curious relationship NowHere and NoWhere maintain, precisely the same, save some superficial parsing. I recognize after three months' immersion within the NowHere just how untransportable both states seem. The NowHere's heading nowhere else and the NoWhere has no place to be or to become. Both seem so danged momentary as to hardly even be, and both seem to largely reside in some past, almost prior states once winked into momentary existence, quantum-like. Living in the NowHere produces a kinetoscopic experience, as if peering through a pin hole at a stream of still pictures to experience a false if convincing sense of motion. It's static in practice, direction and momentum only obvious in retrospect, statues only seeming to dance. Stone connoting experience, forever frozen in place, NowHere or NoWhere, equivalent space.

Come Tuesday, I'll be leaving my NowHere behind me, and also potentially shedding my NoWhere there, too. Another series calls me, though I'd just as soon extend my lease on NowHere and NoWhere further toward infinity, just as if that might prove necessary. I feel as though I'm peering into an unfamiliar room for where I have not yet even presumed the rules of comportment. I've survived enough transitions to understand that no travel guides could possibly clue me in beforehand. I must simply enter as if I might find traction enough there to eventually feel as though I fit in, though permanent resident alien remains a possible outcome. I notice just how different I am at first, forced into a certain self-consciousness and clumsiness, not very much feeling like me to myself at all. I begin not with confidence or with certainty, but with an almost overwhelming humility, fearful of what I might be forced to learn and adapt to. I will most probably ache for familiar smells and certainties. I will have to deliberately believe in probity again, intentions holding space formerly belonging to a knowing felt sense. I can't say how much I despise these changes.

And yet I force myself into them, even though I feel as though I have not even come close to dredging up all the potential still lying unquarried beneath and beside me in the NowHere. I understand that I must always leave behind potential lest I become absurdly efficient or meaningfully diminish natural stocks. I tell myself that I only ever extract the cream of the crop, though I know I only ever draw at random. I accept what comes as somehow representing the very best that could have possibly come, but should I overstay my place, I'd likely learn that I had not. So I shove myself forward or backward or off to one side, a grazing change chicken seeking found sustenance, freshly focusing upon a WhatNext. I sense an approaching season of preparation and also a season of separation, both a letting go and a letting come guiding my hand. I'd really rather not have to ever leave any little part of anything behind, not even those parts I've probably long outgrown, or have outgrown me. I've never been above wearing rags representing the best of some prior me, though only I ever catch the subtle significance those tatters still carry.

By my count, I still have two more NowHere Stories to produce after this one, but I thought it might perhaps be errant of me to not foreshadow if not precisely foresee what might be coming out of me next. NowHere will become my thirteenth story series since I formally began my daily story production just over three years ago with AnotherSummer, AnotherFall following, then Another Winter and Another Spring, leading into a CluelessSummer. I then produced FallingSideways Stories for a quarter, then Reconsidering ones before I went in search of FindingHome. I entered that summer writing NuthinSpecial Stories and transitioned into GlancingKnow Stories up to last winter. SmallerThings carried me through into spring, which moved me into WhatNow? Stories and on into the NowHere Story series which will end in two days just west of here. I curiously had not really looked back to check my tail until now, when poised to leave another length of oeuvre behind me. I'm still a change chicken, though. I clutch my innate cowardliness along with my pearls and move into.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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